On Thursday, the Gambling Commission released their annual betting and gaming statistics writes Floyd Amphlett.

Most years take a little unraveling to determine where the nuggets of useful information can be found as far as greyhound racing is concerned. But these take head-scratching to a whole new level.

As always the figures are between six and eighteen months old (April 2020-March 2021) and the timeline alone gives the big hint to the problem.

This study commenced a week after the first Covid lockdown got underway. There was no dog racing at all until the end of May 2020 and betting shops didn’t re-open until the middle of June.

The second lockdown came in November though by then the whole gambling industry was in disarray.

As a result of the chaos, the Gambling Commission have returned no figures for ‘non-remote’ activity in their figures. In other words: arcades, bingo halls, casinos and betting shops. Nor are there any figures for ‘on course’ betting.

But there was data for on-line gambling.

Despite the pandemic, on-line’ betting increased by another 13.5% following a 15% the previous year. Considering that ‘remote’ and ‘non-remote’ were almost identical for the first time in ‘19/’20 (after non-remote had plummeted by 26%), history will almost certainly show that ‘20/’21 was the year that on-line became the clearly dominant force in betting.

Will it ever go back?

It is also worth noting that despite the increase in on-line gambling overall, casino betting actually increased by 26%!

As far as the dogs was concerned, despite internet turnover dropping from £672m to £646m, yield increased by over £4m from £73.15m to £77.37m.

This represents a 10.88% margin rising to 11.97%, which is roughly 3% more than the betting industry makes on horse racing.

Interestingly, on-line horse racing turnover increased significantly, from £9.1bn to £9.6bn – clearly a result of betting on overseas racing which remained active.

Overall, greyhound racing contributes just 2.9% of the on-line market. Horseracing is 32.4% and football, 46.1%